Using my own loss to help others
Australian author Maureen Meredith gathered together her experience of losing loved ones, most significantly her son, to write her book 'Onwards and Upwards – Strategies for Grieving and Supporting'.
Losing a child, no matter what age, is the worst thing that can happen to a parent. This is not the order that it is supposed to be. I had lost 11 people prior to losing my son. I believe that losing those loving people prepared me for the biggest loss of my life.
I am not sure how you prepare for grieving. While not consciously being aware of it, during my growing up years I had been watching and learning strategies from my parents – what to do and what not to do.
Added to this is the example of leadership shown by my brave, courageous son. He approached his illness with amazing courage, fighting like Braveheart to stay with us. What never left him, during his battle with cancer, was his wicked sense of humour. When his hospice was set up at home, his ability to put his visitors at ease was inspirational. His outer body was a mere shell for the big, warm heart that lay within. The professional staff from the palliative care centre cared well for him, they gave him and us confidence.
My son’s greatest gift to our family was recognising and accepting his fate and telling us that he was not scared. This reassurance from him made it easier for us all to let him go so he was free of pain and discomfort.
I am not an expert in grieving. Many people have helped me on my journey and, as a result, I have written a book to share what I have learnt. My book is called Onwards and Upwards – Strategies for Grieving and Supporting.
My book is written in two sections: the first section is for the person grieving and the second section for the supporter. If the supporter, through no fault of their own, gets it wrong then their words and actions can make it very difficult for the person grieving.
My son was a warm, loving and funny person who would go out of his way to help people so helping other grieving people is the only thing that now makes sense.
I learnt most from my son, this book is dedicated to him and is his legacy.
Download a free copy of Onwards and Upwards at www.onwardsandupwards.net.au